A buyer's guide to fashion photography
Inspired by the Dundee V&A’s Selling Dreams exhibition, we find out where to buy fashion photo-lit
The artful ogle is celebrated this Autumn in Dundee, in the lead up to the V&A opening there in 2015. Beautifully captured moments from the fashion world are on show from the end of September – including a grainy, black and white one of Twiggy whizzing through the swinging sixties on a bike, and Lily Cole posing next to a giant camera for Italian Vogue in 2005 (pictured above). Rankin’s affectionate ‘Silver Ladies’ is another highlight – where a grey-haired woman in the Indian Summer of her life models an Isaac Mizrahi coat and Marc Jacobs vest, taken for Dazed and Confused, the magazine he co-founded in the 90s.
The exhibition title, Selling Dreams, hints at the advertising and aspirational themes behind the photos, but there’s more to fashion photography than just shifting units and making bucks. There’s aesthetics, gender politics, the simple joy of poring over a neatly styled fringe, perfectly folded turn-up or strategically placed shadow …
If these are all things up your strasse, Analogue Books (Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, analoguebooks.co.uk) remains one of Scotland’s best stockists for magazines aimed at both men and women – Fantastic Man, Dapper Dan, Inventory, Verities, Lula and Riot of Perfume are just a handful of their magazine titles, while Tomboy Style, Supreme and Ryan McGinley represent their large book selection.
The much-missed Beyond Words (which used to be on Edinburgh’s Cockburn Street) still exists online, and has titles including Herb Ritts’ LA Style and In Between, a tribute to the often-leggy, narrative portraits of Guy Bourdin. Further down Cockburn Street, Stills gallery has a library which the public are welcome to idle in, whilst drinking tea and coffee and using their free Wi-Fi. The British Journal of Photography, Source Magazine and Freize are on all their shelves. For those interested in taking it a step further, Stills also run a Fashion Portrait Photography course (starting 29 Sep, see stills.org for details).
In Glasgow, All That is Solid (South Block, Osborne Street, allthatissolid.co.uk) stocks a small batch of good fashion magazines and books too, including Oyster and Bless2, as well as Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style.
Selling Dreams: 100 Years of Fashion Photography, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, Fri 28 Sep–Sun 6 Jan.